What was the most frequent advice you were given (regarding your future career) in high school and college? When I ask this question, the common answers are:
“Choose your degree/profession based on demand so you’ll always have job security.”
“Find something you’re passionate about, and it will become profitable for you.”
While the second piece of advice sure sounds better, if you’ve had that mentality and tried to enter the workforce, you’re in for a rude awakening. Even if your parents raised you to pursue your dreams, we live in a world that refuses to acknowledge that mindset. You’ll find obstacles, red tape, and discouragement from society at every turn - all because you’re going against the grain and trying to change a system that doesn’t want to be changed. (If this hits a little close to home, check out this article by the New York Times)
For those of you who were discouraged from getting a degree based on their personal interests, you probably heard something along these lines:
Astronomy? There are no jobs for that.
Archaeology? No jobs for that.
Education? Sure the demand is there, but pay and benefits are terrible.
Art? I hope you mean Graphic Design.
Business? It’s going to be competitive!
Psychology? It’s a dying field since insurance companies refuse to cover it.
The point is that many of us were encouraged - by our support system or the society we live in - to take on a degree and career that would help us get paid, not one that would bring joy, fulfillment, or contentment into our lives. And whoever said that a job is simply a means to an end isn’t living their life to the fullest. So when I hear the question: “Should I consider quitting my job for self-care?” my answer is a resounding YES!!
But I understand that can bring up some fears, insecurities, and overwhelming emotions. So let’s take a closer look at how our society views employment and how you can gain a new perspective to help you identify the right professional path.
Is My Job Right for Me?
I’m going to answer that question with a couple of questions. First, do you regularly feel tired or exhausted? Has stress become an everyday thing you have learned to deal with? Do you dread Monday mornings? Is your Sunday afternoon ruined by the thought of work the next day? Do you ever find yourself getting nauseous on your way to work?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then there’s a good chance that you’re experiencing burnout. You’ve been pushing yourself to meet the demands of a workplace and ignoring your own needs and wants. While this can happen in even the best of professional environments, I find it to often be a symptom of the underlying issue that you’ve settled for a job you’re not happy with.
Whether it’s simply the company you work for or the professional as a whole, something is not sitting right with you. I encourage you to take some time to really consider what made you choose the career you’re currently pursuing and if an alternative one would suit you better.
If you decide that yes, it’s time to find a different job or career as a whole, then the question becomes when is the right time to quit? I mean, you can’t quit immediately without a safety net in place, can you? Allow me to counter with “Why not?” Let’s take a moment to explore that!
Should I Have a Safety Net?
While this is an incredibly complicated topic that we could talk about for hours, let’s take a brief look at why most individuals would feel the need to have another job lined up - or a flush bank account - before quitting their job.
First, we need to define what you mean by a safety net. Do you mean a financial safety net, or do you mean a support system? Or some combination therein? When I decided to quit my job, I knew I had a support system in my immediate family. Were I to lose my home, I could move back in with my father until I could get back on my feet. Knowing that I wouldn’t be homeless was enough of a safety net for me to walk out my employer’s front door, leaving a trail of glitter behind me.
If you don’t have a support system - an individual or individuals - who would be able to give you a spare room at a free or reasonable rate, then you’re most likely looking at a safety net as a monetary figure, whether that’s a savings account balance or a side hustle that could temporarily keep you afloat.
As a society, we’ve developed a significant dependence on financial resources. However, beyond food and livelihood, there is a certain level of creature comforts that we’re expected to be able to afford in order to show that we are “adults.” But are those creature comforts worth sticking around in a toxic work environment? What could you live without, at least temporarily, to help you transition from a job you hate to a career you love?
There are very few circumstances where I’m going to discourage someone from quitting an unhealthy job - regardless of your financial situation. You’ll immediately feel relief for leaving that environment and soon feel the brain fog lift, providing you with new energy and motivation to find the right path forward.
If you are interested in taking a fresh look at your budget and overall financial situation to help you get a better idea of what it would look like if you left your current job behind right now, take a moment to check out my free Glitter Money Finance Workbook. It might just give you the confidence you need to take that first powerful step in your right future direction.
How do I Know what Job IS Right For Me?
Well, what are your interests? What piques your curiosity? What topics are you passionate about? The world is a big place. There are so many opportunities out there for just about every interest you could dream up. And, if there isn’t, we now live in a world that has made it easier than ever to create your own opportunity. Not only are there platforms that allow you to take on freelance jobs from around the globe (which pay exceptionally well in many cases), but it’s never been easier to start your own business.
If you see a need in the world that is not being filled and you feel passionate about it, you have a host of resources available online to help you launch and grow a startup company. And I promise you that you will be excited to wake up every morning knowing that you’re pursuing a career that you feel inspired by, passionate about, and invested in, as opposed to exhausting yourself working towards someone else’s goal, all for the sake of “job security.”
How do I go about Quitting my Job for Self-Care?
You take that sage advice from a shoe company and just do it. If you want to put in your two weeks notice to give you some time to meditate and manifest the direction you should be moving in and take steps to reduce your monthly expenditures to ensure that you can take care of yourself and feel comfortable doing so, then go for it! However, a two-week notice is not required by law, and you are not obligated to give that much time. It’s entirely your choice. This rule is a cultural/ societal rule made up by corporations. If you need to leave sooner to support your mental health, do what is BEST for you.
Quitting your job immediately might mean dropping Netflix for a month or two - or it might mean cutting back on eating out or selling off a few items you don’t really need. Without your current job holding you back, you’ll be able to seek the clarity you need to find your ideal career - one that you’ll look forward to each and every day.